Nine essential tips for your first day at work

   
Nestlé building
Make the most of your first day: Be nice, be friendly, be yourself.

You want to make a fantastic impression on your first day. Or at least, not to get too much stuff wrong. Believe it or not, it’s possible to thoroughly enjoy the experience, and build on it in the coming days, weeks and months. These tips will help you from that all-important day one.

1. You are what you wear

This might be just a case of checking what the dress code is, if there is one. You certainly want to be well presented as it’ll give you a confidence boost and help you impress all the new colleagues you’re going to be meeting. You’re representing yourself, your team and your new company, so be smart about it.

2. Get there early

This may sound basic, but work out which train or bus you need to catch, or where you can park. You don’t want to be caught offering excuses because you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Plan this part, and you’ll have one less thing to think about on the day.

3. Be confident

The workplace, especially if it’s your first, is almost designed to make you nervous. So just remember that everyone will feel the same on their first day doing new things among new people. You’re not expected to know it all, so just be friendly and start learning straight away.

4. Say hello

You’ll be introduced to people by your manager, but say hello if you meet other people too, whether you’re trying to use the coffee machine or you’ve got lost looking for the kitchen. Keep eye contact, smile and shake their hand. If you’ve prepared a little intro about yourself, use it to create a good first impression.

5. Ask questions

The more you ask early on, the better it is. Better still, try to remember most of it. A new job is the best time to question anything you don’t understand, and you’ll look great if you manage to pick a lot of it up. Try to get organised about that and other things from the start.

6. Remember what you said at the interview

They decided to hire you for a reason, so show that you can do that thing or be that person. (You should make a habit of keeping track of your contributions and accomplishments as well, so that you’re on top of how well you’ve done when performance review time comes around.)

7. Social media

Remember to update your title across your own social media platforms and to start following your new company and colleagues, if you’re not doing that already. As you meet new people, find them on Twitter or LinkedIn.

8. Develop some great relationships

Be nice, be friendly, be yourself – but always remember that the best working relationships are based on respect and trust, and respect and trust are based on actions and performance, not just on words. You may not have the contacts, the ability or the experience to do a lot right from the start, but you don’t need skills to be willing to help out and work hard.

9. Enjoy it! Really

Your first day can really be enjoyable if you plan what you can, and show you’re keen to learn. No one will expect you to be brilliant right out of the gate, so don’t stress about impressing absolutely everyone and remember to have fun.